No one ever expected that they would find themselves quarantined at college during a global pandemic. There is really no way to plan for that. But, there are a few important takeaways from quarantined students’ experiences, which can help if you are called to enter quarantine.
1. If you are called to quarantine, pack for at least 14 days.
Within the process, you will be required to test negative twice before you can leave quarantine housing. Taking into account the time it takes for the test results to arrive, planning for a 14-day stay may be your best bet. If you test positive, there is a good chance you will remain in quarantine for that time. At the same time, this is an estimated time period that may vary per case.
2. Let people you’ve come in contact know you are getting tested.
Remember, you are not the only one affected. Let your friends know about the situation. If you end up testing positive, also contact them. This will allow them some extra time to pack.
3. Packing: do it beforehand (if possible) and pack the essentials (plus some).
Once you are called to quarantine housing, you don’t have a lot of time to pack things up. Preparing beforehand saves a lot of stress during that process. Have a small overnight bag already set aside, or even make a quarantine checklist; anything that can speed up packing. Also make sure to prioritize what you bring. Obviously bring all of your school supplies and textbooks but also pack some self-care or extra things to do, since you’ll need to occupy yourself during down time. Bedding and towels are provided, so there’s no need to pack those. At the same time, pack a small blanket or extra pillow if you know you can’t sleep without it.
4. Nurses stop in for food and check-ups each day.
Each morning, a nurse will stop in for a daily check-up that is quick, easy and painless. They also deliver lunch and dinner at 11:30 and 5:30, respectively; breakfast for the next day is delivered with dinner. Let the nurses know if you have any dieting restrictions.
5. Reach out if you are struggling or need help.
The Engle Center’s nurses are amazing, kind people, ready to help everything go smoothly in quarantine. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, utilize the Engle Center’s remote counseling. For school-related issues, contact your professors or the Student Success and Engagement Office.
6. Utilize Zoom for more than your classes.
Quarantining away from everyone can be a difficult and isolating experience. Mental health has become so important nowadays, and social interactions impact a big part of that. Call with your friends, even set up a daily time to chat if you need that accountability. Even invite your friends to stop by the apartment building and talk through your window (if you’re on one of the bottom floors).
Remember, by reporting your symptoms and quarantining, you are aiding in the campus-wide effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. The entire Messiah community is grateful for your sacrifices and wants to see you rejoin campus life as soon as possible.